A FERTILITY clinic in Northampton is now offering patients the option to use frozen donor eggs imported from America due to a shortage of donations from women in the UK.
Care Fertility in Cliftonville, Northampton is the first clinic in the region to use donor eggs from USA, which have been frozen and flown over the Atlantic.
The scheme has the approval of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and American donors are subject to the same health screening as UK donors.
Karen Faulkner, donor co-ordinator for Care Fertility in Northampton said the America eggs would help reduce the waiting list for patients.
She said: “Our current waiting list is between nine to 12 months and by importing these eggs from America we hope to reduce it to three to four months.”
Ms Faulkner said the amount of women donating eggs in the UK had decreased since the anonymity laws changed five years ago.
She said: “Anonymity laws changed in 2005, meaning egg and sperm donors must consent to any resulting child having access to their identity when the child reaches the age of 18 years old.
“This had a real knock-on affect on the number of donors coming through despite our attempts to regularly try to raise awareness of the need to donate eggs.”
The Care Fertility clinic in Manchester has already trialled the frozen egg programme and have successful pregnancies in place although no babies have been born as yet.
A spokesman said: “This is a very expensive procedure involving the latest hi-tech freezing and thawing methods to quickly freeze eggs which helps prevent damage from the freeze/thaw procedure (vitrification)
“Egg vitrification has improved the outcome and increased the chances of pregnancy using frozen eggs.
The Northampton clinic also offers “egg sharing” where women undergoing IVF can give up some of their eggs during the IVF cycle and in exchange their treatment costs are dramatically reduced.